An informative guide to all that is Bitcoin.
Welcome to the Bit-Mines.
About 5 years ago-as the bitcoin myths go-an extremely talented mathematician/programmer did what scholars, economic theorists, lawyers and even other gifted programmers tried for decades. Satoshi Nakomoto created Bitcoin; the world’s first popularized P2P and fully digital currency. Now you might still be asking, “Hey Kyle, what the heck do you mean by ‘bit-mines’ anyway?” Well, without further ado, I welcome you to the wonderful world of bitcoin mining. Enjoy.
The next question most people to seem to ask is; how can this be turned into real, physical currency? If there are people willing to pay money for bitcoin- which there are-then Bitcoin can essentially be exchanged like any other good or service. Next, look at Bitcoin like a stock rather than a currency. By verifying a sale in the network (uncovering a bitcoin packet) a miner is showing that Bitcoin is both being used whilst being popular and thus increasing its value. Here’s a solid informational link that goes a little deeper into what Bitcoin can actually be considered, if you’re interested in learning more.
Myths, Facts, Funnies and Total Speculation
The creator of Bitcoin-Satoshi Nakomoto-is actually a pseudonym, nobody really knows who the person is! Recently there have been articles that the guy was found. Through further reading it seems like this started from a simple misunderstanding. I mean who knows; maybe this guy doesn’t want all the fame and fortune of bitcoin and just wants to live the quiet life he deserves. Maybe he really is the creator! But then again I don’t think so. Check it out;
I researched deeper to see what I could find, and the stories online are endless. Satoshi Nakomoto is quite literally, a complete ghost. Nobody has any idea who, where or how they did what they did. We know they must’ve been a gifted C++ programmer, Mathematician and Economist. But why do they want to remain secret? So many questions, and it only makes me more and more intrigued about Bitcoin. The greatest part about it is that a lot of these guesses at who the creator is are rather informative and insightful!
(also read the first comment by gwern)
So we’ve talked about Bitcoin, but we haven’t said much about its counterpart Litecoin. Litecoin is to Bitcoin as silver is to gold. Currently the market trades 1 bitcoin for $683.42 (as of today).1 Litecoin trades for roughly 20 dollars Canadian give or take a dollar. Although Litecoin mining is slightly different, due to slight algorithm changes from the original bitcoin data. It makes it easier for small-time amateur miners to have a shot at mining actual coin without the use of professional algorithm-cracking hardware and software.
I considered grouping this with Litecoin (due to the similarities in mining and algorithm structure) but I felt it deserved its own description. The popular internet doge meme was turned into a cryptocurrency by programmer Billy Markus to make Bit/Litecoin more fun. What’s even funnier is that this currency absolutely skyrocketed when it went public.
What I’m enjoying the most are the offers people are giving for things like their houses, cars, cottages in exchange for large sums of Dogecoin. Btw 10 Dogecoin is roughly equal to one cent Canadian.
Selling Pickaxes during a Gold rush
I always liked that saying. You know it goes on to say something like; the people who made and sold the equipment to the miners in the gold rush made more money than 99% of the miners themselves. Well isn’t it true as ever. A whole new economy has opened, along with new markets and new customers. Just so you can have a shot at striking gold.
The Dark Side
Now the raw truth on why Bitcoin happened to become popular, is why there may be a stigma surrounding it. Bitcoin is essentially untraceable. In the beginning it could be mined and traded on this P2P network and through special software without any trail. This makes for a great way to launder money, buy stolen goods and even purchase large quantities of drugs completely anonymously. Mainly using a site called Silk Road (now silk road 2). In my next post I’ll go further in depth into what the darkwebs and the Tor network are. How bitcoin has both been influenced by the darkwebs and how it’s introduction has influenced the dark webs right back. Really interesting stuff! You’ll look at the internet in a completely different light.
A Quick Insight Into the Darkweb, and Silk Road (Link and Video included)
My last few words
The coolest thing about all of this is that absolutely anybody can get into it. It’s an extremely interesting way of learning about coding and digital cryptology. With a little research your computer could quite literally be mining while you read this blog. Why does this relate to computers and society? I believe the fact that a computer programmer created something worth as much as it does now out of literally nothing but computer code is amazing. Next the shear drive and seeming addiction masses have shown towards this crypto-coin craze is astonishing. The amount of money changing hands is enough of a reason alone. Completely and honestly I’m divided about it. Yes, I do believe this was an extremely well written and thought out program/algorithm/entity. I’m excited about its artificial development, but that’s also what scares me; the fact that it literally is nothing, the insecurity of it all, the sketchiness of the dark webs, and the hackers who are constantly trying to get into your digital wallet. It’s so… volatile. No more than a month ago the value of Bitcoin was less than 1/6th of what it’s worth now, and a month before that it was worth more than it ever had (roughly 900). I believe the structure of Bitcoin is a huge step in the right direction for computing. It’s melding economics and computer’s in the most unique way that has been known to man. Bitcoin certainly is deserving of the noise it has created for itself. You say computers and society, I say Security, Privacy, Social Networking, Brain Drain, Internet Addiciton. All of these subjects have there place in a discussion on Bitcoin. There’s so much to say, about such an expansive topic.
On a side note, here’s a story about a modern-day digital bank heist. This heist is the very reason for Bitcoin’s fluctuating value! Btw the heist ‘apparently’ took roughly 500 million worth of bitcoin, although due to the nature of bitcoin, that particular transaction hasn’t been mined/uncovered in the web yet!! So there’s no real proof!! (lol)